Selected Speech Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Inauguration of the New Office Building of the Ministry of Public Works and Transports, and the Techo Sen Institute of Public Works and Transports [Unofficial Translation]


New Normal Way Meeting; April 4 – Land Management Office Building Inaugurated

Today we are gathering here to celebrate the official inauguration of the new office buildings of Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) and the Techo Sen Institute of Public Works and Transports, as well as some other programs. I would like to take this opportunity, as the old year 2020 passed and we moved into the international New Year 2021, I wish everyone the four Buddhist blessings. Today’s gathering is a test meeting or an exercise related to living a normal life or working in a new way. Our event today, as I received a request from my cabinet, (we have had to decide on) how to prepare for it.

There have been two options – the first option is to set up a gathering in open space like this and the second option is to set up the meeting in the closed-up building above. I would like to try the first preparation option. We begin preparing it as an exercise by which experience we will demonstrate to other places the new normal course of work in the COVID-19 era. This yard can accommodate 5,000 to 10,000 people, but now that we have taken precautionary measures, we have reserved a space of one and a half meters between each other. That is a new normal work course to practise (in time of pandemic).

On April 4, 2021, I will inaugurate the new office buildings of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction (LMUPC). April 4 – which will also be my official birthday, we will try organizing the new normal gathering in the building because it will be in hot weather. Well, we set up the gathering in the building as an experience of moving forward with a new normal process or a new normal life. This is the starting point to confirm one of ways to exercises new method. We used this method in Siem Reap province but in a smaller scale. Now we do it a bit larger.

Use of NR4 to NR3 Access and Underpass from NR4 to Chaom Chao Allowed

Today, let me do something first. It is still relating to the road anyway, but so that the people in Phnom Penh get information in advance and let Phnom Penh Capital Hall do this work one-step ahead. As today is Friday, there is always traffic jams in the evening, on Saturday traffic is a bit lighter, and on Sunday, it is in congestion again. Let me affirm that the flyover intersection under construction in Chaom Chao, where on October 10, 2020, I allowed a temporary use of underpass.

Now there is the announcement that the 204-meter-long, 5-and-a-half-meter-wide road for traffic from National Road 4 to National Road 3, will be in use. Secondly, the underpass, which is 458 meters long and 8 meters 50 wide, for traffic direction from National Road 4 to Chaom Chao Road is also now in use.

His Excellency Khuong Sreng may officially announces and opens the roads for travellers from this hour onwards. As three lines (of the underpasses/road in the intersections) put into operation, along with more that are still under construction, we are sure they will ease the congested traffic. This is to inform the people in Phnom Penh, as well as those traveling through the area to benefit from the Choam Chao underpasses/roads in Por Sen Chey (district of Phnom Penh) […]

Handing over Building Complex of MPWT to the MME

Senior Minister Sun Chanthol has already mentioned in his report. I would like to express my appreciation for the innovative efforts to create new achievements for this new building complex of MPWT. The new office buildings of the MPWT has made it easy for me to resolve demand for office space and location. I decided to offer the former office buildings complex of MPWT to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, which is a new Ministry and has not gotten a place (for its office building) yet […]. His Excellency Sun Chanthol confirmed that (once he has gotten) the new office buildings for MPWT ready, he will hand over the former office complex to Samdech Techo Prime Minister. Well, the Prime Minister upon receiving property from one child will give it to another child. We will give it to MME, which has quite a reasonably large number of staff. It is under reparation now […]

Office of the MME to National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM)

Now, to whom do we hand the former office buildings of MME over? We will hand it over to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), because now the location of the NCDM is spreading in three institutions – NCDM, the Human Rights Committee and the Mine Authority. We then move NCDM to the former MME office buildings. Achieving the new office buildings for MPWT makes it easier for me to hand over the former complex to MME, and the former building complex of MME to NCDM.

Office of LMUPC Handed Over to Ministry of Rural Development (MRD)

Furthermore, I would like to announce that HE Deputy Prime Minister Chea Sophara has also built a new office buildings complex for LMUPC and we will launch the inauguration on April 4, 2021. The former (office of) LMUPC will hand over to the Ministry of Rural Development, which is now working in a narrow space. The former MRD will become the Phnom Penh Department of LMUPC. Well, it helps to solve workplace problems as well. Apart from that, the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation is also building its new office buildings complex, the Ministry of National Defence of Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh is also in the process of building the new office buildings complex […]

Knowledge of the Past – a Historical Perspective in Analysis

I should take this opportunity to clarify a bit that before we have come to this, workplace issue is a problem for us to solve. We do not have the money to build them. We just have to trade for them. Why this was so. I would like to clarify a bit so that one could understand the story. It is a historical link. You may remember that after liberating Phnom Penh from the genocidal regime of Pol Pot, I met only 70 people near the Canadia (tower now). Those people are not residents of Phnom Penh. They were evacuees from Loeuk Dek district who travelled pass Kien Svay into Phnom Penh and our army arrived just in time (to rescue them from the Khmer Rouge’s evacuation). Most of them are old people, women and children. (The city was) empty of people. Adults were killed.

So starting a ministry in Cambodia is different from any other country in the world. Countries in the world (even if) they change their regimes, either through revolution or elections, they accept the old legacy. No need to look for examples elsewhere. The Lon Nol regime overthrew the Sangkum Reastr Niyum (popular socialist) regime of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk (the Head of State) but the regime accepted every achievements left from the time of Preah Norodom Sihanouk Preah Borom Ratana Kaod. This means that Lon Nol does not need to build up ministries again. The ministries are already in order as organized by Preah Borom Ratana Kaod. By the time Pol Pot comes, if Pol Pot does not destroy, Pol Pot will get the institutions left behind as well. Pol Pot ruined those achievements. Hence, after we overthrew the Pol Pot regime, there was nothing left.

I would clarify this point in the history so that our next generation of civil servants, who will be in charge of the work in the future and beyond, can understand the history related to the reorganization (of our country and ministries). Countries in the world, as I said, whether by military overthrow, coup d’etat, or post-election government, inherit from all previous governments, including currency, only then they can print new banknotes to replace old ones. Old banknotes, however, retain their values from before the new ones come. Except for the armed forces who are disbanded, the state administrative structure may be partially preserved … even after Vietnam was liberated, after Laos was liberated, schools were kept, hospitals were kept, and banks were kept, some civil servant officials were kept except the armed forces. What were there for us?

For example, my ministry, (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), where I was the foreign minister, started with only four people. One minister, one driver, one bodyguard and one assistant, all four of us. We start setting up an institution by first picking up the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs in front of the Royal Palace, then going to the Buddhist University, because at that time there were no monks from anywhere. Well, the location has to be chosen along with the recruitments of human resources. Both was difficult. There were no human resources from anywhere. Fortunately, through a long process, we collected a pool of them.

Many Intellectuals Recruited by Foreign Affairs

The then Ministry of Foreign Affairs gathered and recruited the most intellectuals, the economists, and the engineers denied by the Ministry of Industry, we accepted them – two engineers studying in Germany, a few others locally trained, etc. Even, an agronomists like Mr. Kang Keng … Well, all the engineers came to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I also had some professors in the field of literatures … Later we redistributed them to various ministries that needed their expertise, including the President of the Supreme Court, Dith Munty, who also was from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs … (Samdech) Sok An and Cham Prasidh are also from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They started as my personal secretaries. Only the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Finance came back to use their former office buildings complexes […]

Revolutionary Council of Kampuchea and Various Committees

I would also like to clarify this issue a bit. The ministries, including MPWT, were not really ministries then. At that time, we called it communication, transportation and post office. They called it the committee. We turn around a bit so that we know. We should know the past (about our history) and that is the historical perspective in analysing the problem, or how far have we come, and, where else to go. At the beginning of the formation of the government, the so-called People’s Revolutionary Council of Kampuchea, there were only a handful of people, and there were no ministers at that time. You may review the proclamation.

Back then, first, Heng Samrin, President of the People’s Revolutionary Council of Kampuchea, meaning that Heng Samrin plays both the roles of President and Prime Minister. Second, Pen Sovann, Vice President of the People’s Revolutionary Council in charge of national defence. Third, Hun Sen, member in charge of Foreign Affairs. Fourth Chea Sim, member in charge of the interior. Fifth, Keo Chenda, member in charge of media and culture. Sixth, Mok Sokun, member in charge of economy and livelihood. Seventh, Chan Ven, member in charge of Education. Eighth, Nou Beng, member in charge of health.

When we arrived in Phnom Penh, we set up committees such as an agricultural committee, an industrial committee, a transportation and postal committee, a trade committee, and a social affairs committee, etc. So later, Khun Chi was in charge of the committee or the ministry (of transports and communication) and they then called him the minister.

PWT Chairman or Ministers

So, as far as MPWT is concerned, if we describe, it has gone through the first phase of leadership under Khun Chi, who was holding this committee, called public works, transports and post. The second minister was Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh, who was then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works, Transport and Post before I changed him to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence to push for a political solution in early 1988. At that time, I had to change two ministers to serve the flow of negotiations – one defence minister and one foreign minister. In fact, I have held both positions as Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. I handed foreign affairs over to Kong Koam, but during the negotiations, it was necessary to gather all the efforts to negotiate peace. After Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh was HE Oung Phan … after Oung Phan was Ros Chhun. After Ros Chhun came So Khun and at this stage, after the elections, we divided into the Ministry of Public Works and Transports and the Ministry of Posts. His Excellency Ung Kiet took over MPWT. HE Khy Tang Lim took it over from Ung Kiet. From Khy Tang Lim came Sun Chanthol. From Sun Chanthol to Tram Iv Tek. And, from Tram Iv Tek to Sun Chanthol again. That is about the history […]

Delighted on Setting up a Technical Training Institute for PWT

Now I am happy to see that in every ministries the process of human resources development has been going quite well from lack of human resources to plenty of them. What I like more is that this institution and some other institutions have jointly built a training site, which includes the construction of a technical training institute building for public works and transports, sponsored by the China Road Corporation at a cost of 2.5 million USD. It has already signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education (Youth and Sports). This point is very important. We need to know that good working places are not important. Work effectiveness is more important. Find out the functions and tasks we need to do with our limited human resource capacity that we need to find ways to provide more training.

For me, since 1979, I have never neglected training, although at the time it was difficult. At that time, we searched for beds and kitchen utensils and set up a collective dining house at the former National Assembly building, which is now the Supreme Court. We opened training courses for diplomats of that generation. How many we recruited, we organized for them diplomatic training and retraining. Now at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there is also a diplomatic institute next to it. As I said, it has been my pleasure to see that the Institute of Technical Training on Public Works and Transport is also there and cooperates with the Ministry of Education to train students on road and bridge constructions. As for roads, we are talking about normal roads, overpasses, underpasses, underground roads. We had to practice. It was not yet time before, but now it is (time), even today we have put another underpass and a truncation into operation.

These points show the difficult preparation, not easy, in the early stages. From the beginning (in 1979, if) a ministry wanted to take hundreds of houses (as their ministry complex), no one would say anything but no one dared to take them. Even the Ministry of Agriculture, which has the former ministry building, but Neo Samum (who is) the Chairman of the Agriculture Commission or the first Minister of Agriculture did not dare to go there. He took one house, he stayed and another house as the Ministry. (It) now belongs to the Ministry of Water Resources. Well, that was the Ministry of Agriculture from that time. Then HE Kong Sam Ol built an adjacent building nearby. They dare not go occupy the former ministry complex because they were afraid of ghosts to tell the truth.

Phnom Penh Doubled in Size

This capital city (of Phnom Penh) had had then neither electricity nor running water. As of now, our capital is not just developing but also expanding from more than 300 square Kilometres to more than 700 square Kilometres. That is why I am tired of the repetitive claims of some people that we are clearing this or that lake. Now I wanted to ask them back, where in Phnom Penh originally that there are hard land. There were lakes in Phnom Penh. My house is right on the creek. Independence Monument built on a creek. We have lakes of Raing, Keng Kang, Prolit, etc., in Phnom Penh. At that time, how could they claim them? Now, why I cannot do it. Look, let us talk on this point a little. If there is a need for development, if it needs to be developed, we need to level the land […]

I kept wondering, why the previous generation could do it, and my generation could not … despites what I said, I do not agree with the closure of the waterways that divert the flow of water. For example, the river of Prek Tnaot, etc., we must keep its flowing ways. I would like to confirm about Boeung Ta Mok, I regret that I signed a sub-decree wrong. Why is that wrong? (They) make a sub-decree stating the border (of the lake) is where the water reaches for me to sign. In the past, there was no sub-decree. Now that we have to issue sub-decree, they do it based on the example of the late Ly Kimhan. People asked where the border of fishing zone is. Ly Kimhan replied that the fishing zone border is wherever the water reaches. On that account, I wanted to determine the area for protection. Suddenly, (we see that it was) all the people’s dry season rice fields.

Winners Write History

Now look at the sub-decree, they were all the dry season rice fields. I will continue to trim it out, I tell you, because they are people’s dry season rice fields. By the way, having said that, not everyone can just go do it. While people are cultivating dry season rice there, (they write) in the sub-decree that they are state land. All (are in fact hard) land. They are dry lands when dry season comes. I regret it, but leave this sub-decree to me. (I will figure out where) we should, and where we should not go ahead.

Countries are pumping to the sea, claiming land of the sea, taking land for development. Why whatever Cambodia does is wrong. Are they jealous? Say it out. Some say that the southern part (of Phnom Penh) where we are developing is the wetlands. Wet land it is. Shall we leave it as is? I will not leave it so. Wait, they can dismantle buildings, and throw them away, when they come. Now, the southern part of the 60 meters-width road becomes a new city, the north (of Phnom Penh) expands, the south (of Phnom Penh) expands, the west (of Phnom Penh) expands, and soon (the east of Phnom Penh at) Arey Ksatr will also expand, let us be clear.

Originally, how much of Phnom Penh was on land. Even the Independence Monument, which the King-Father built the Independence Monument, and even my house (near it), when we drilled to lay the foundation, on pulling out, we saw that at a depth of 20 meters, there were the Smach trees that they used to build the foundation. They cleared the lake to make a city, how could they curse us. No matter how much you scold us, we are doing it. I keep saying that only the winner can have the right to write history. We are not abusing power. (It has become) farmland (already) and (they said) it was a lake. I was not careful enough to trust the staff. When we issued the sub-decree, it hits people’s land. Now, the City Hall asks for a piece of it. HE Chea Sophara, DPM and Minister of LMUPC asked for a piece of it. I just ask on question, in this time of year, is it land or in the water. They said people are cultivating dry season rice. If they do, trim it out. It will end the problem. We can keep the land for development. The more we developed, the bigger country’s capital city is, the more workplaces we have. Now I send the Commander-in-Chief of the Army to this side (of Boeung Ta Mork). I give a piece of land for the Calmette Hospital and another piece for infectious disease.

The Growth of State or Private Sectors Is the Growth of the Nation

As we are expanding on that side, it has nothing to do with water storage. The water came from above upstream we channel it to downstream. As there is no barrier in front of it, so the water always hits the dam of Kob Srov. When there is a barrier in front, there is nothing to worry about water coming from upstream anymore. Remember the year 2000 we went to sleep guarding the dam. Why? Because of the water came colliding directly with the dam. Now we extend the land 500 meters of soil forward (from the dam), water would not cause that trouble again. It is the progress of the nation. What does the public or private sector represent?

Let me point to you about this building. For a building like this, almost 2,000 staff are working. It is a state sector building. If this were to be a private building, we would have solved works for nearly 2,000 people. That is one benefit. As for the employees who come to work, there must be a tax on the salary that the state will receive from or provided by the employers. When it comes to the point of having to pay taxes, they have to pay taxes to the state. In addition, the more real estate we have, the more the income taxes come (to the state) because the pay annual property tax. The nation grows like that.

High Respect to Preah Baat Ang Duong

From one stage to another, it is not the same. We should know our history. That is why I have respect for Preah Baat Ang Duong. If we look back from the beginning, we pay our respects to the souls of King Ang Duong, King Norodom, King Sisowath, King Sisowath Monivong, to King Norodom Suramarit, and later King Norodom Sihanouk, head of state since 1960. What we should look back is that Cambodia almost disappeared from the world map. (There was) a stage around 1840, there were only less than one million Cambodians. At that time, King Ang Duong worked hard to liberate the country and tried to set up the capital at the Veang Chas or old palace area.

Around the old palace where I went to celebrate annual Buddhist ceremony, there was a mediated fellow named Nhean Moeung, who, more than 70 years before I went to build the pagoda, told the locals that this pagoda was to be later built by a farmer’s son. I go there (for annual Buddhist ceremony) every year. King Ang Duong worked very hard to get our country back. Thus, our Constitution can only trace back and stipulate to King Ang Duong. One may ask how about those before King Ang Duong. None. That is why the Constitution states that “The King of Cambodia shall be a member of the Royal family, of at least 30 years old, descending from the blood line of King Ang Duong, King Norodom or King Sisowath …”

Protect Existing Land

We have to dive at least to those who built the land if we do not dive to the Angkorian era. The Angkorian era (we) was almost extinct because of endless conflicts. King Ang Duong did his best to put the country back together. On one front, he went all the way to get France to protect (Cambodia). France came and controlled the country. They controlled Khmer, Laos, and both Annam and Cochinchina. That what had happened. Why then blame me (about) losing land. No, I’m sorry, I beg to protect only the land that exists today, and whoever is mightier, please go and get it yourself. That I bring up this is because I wanted to highlight some of the historical factors that have happened in our country. We have been glorious for 16 years. In 1953, we won independence, but the real His Majesty the King-Father national construction time had not started until 1955, because of interferences of the oppositions and foreign aggressions. Now that is history. Let us find an answer firstly to whether we had a war from 1970 to 1975 or not. Secondly, was there a genocidal regime of Pol Pot or not?

Uncle Mak Hoen Not Stupid

Let me take this opportunity to answer to uncle Mak Hoen. Uncle Mak Hoen issued a VDO-clip lately saying for the way he analysed, would he be in this group of stupid analysts or not. Maybe he listens to my speech and I used to note that there are philosophers, historians, economists, and the stupid ones too. He may have listened to me that he asked for the way he analysed, would Mr. Hun Sen put him in the group of the stupid ones or not. Uncle, you are not among them because your analysis based on one of the three methodologies that Hun Sen used and it is the historical perspectives/approach.

No matter who it is, if s/he failed to stand on historical point of view in her/his analysis, I still give the same score as the stupid ones. Should you do not recognize how destructive the war of 1970-1975 was, how many Pol Pot killed and the consequences of regime … and the fact that war continued until its end in 1998 through win-win politics, and you only look at what happens today, even if you have truckload of PhD, I still call you stupid. Uncle Mak Hoen, however, was not in this group. At least he has his analysis based on historical approach.

Three Approaches in Analysing, Evaluating and Predicting

I use a combination of three methods/approaches. As always, Hun Sen uses three methods. The first method is the historical method/approach. The second method is dialectical approach. The third method is logic approach. Hun Sen always uses a combination of the three to analyse the situation, assess the situation and predict what is going to happen. I would like to give a clue to Mr. Mak Hoen, let me open a bracket here, on one of his clips that he said two wrong things. First, you said that Heng Samrin and Hun Sen faced no exits and Pol Pot almost killed them to cause them to run away. At this point, I ask you to separate two facts. Samdech Heng Samrin and I are not together. I went out to build an army on June 20, 1977. Samdech Heng Samrin had started in 1978, a year later.

I am the founder of the National Salvation Armed Forces of Kampuchea, not just the commander, but also the founder of the armed forces. I was not at my dead end to do so but I am looking for a way to save the nation. (You) may try on YouTube (by) typing “Journey to National Salvation,” and there will be documentary clips and Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh put together all the places I went through, as I traded my life to capitalize on national salvation.

The Front Named after the National Salvation Army of Kampuchea

As for the second point, Mr. Mak Hoen said that he does not seem to know where Hun Sen come from. It was until 1982 that people came to know of him. He said that people know only Heng Samrin, Chea Sim, Pen Sovann, and no one ever knew Hun Sen. I just reminded you that if you did not know of Hun Sen, it would be similar to the Cambodians do not know palm sugar. Hun Sen has always been present at every stages (and) recorded in history. Speaking of the name of the Front, Hun Sen was the one who proposed it. Why? The army that Hun Sen built called the National Salvation of Kampuchea Army. There are photos to assert that.

When it comes to a time to form a front, in order to avoid changing the name of the armed forces, I has to propose the name. Luckily, the other party accepts. Do not forget that Cambodian (resistant forces then) has five parties to start with. The group led by Say Phu Thong and Tea Banh in Thailand could not come forward publicly. The other four parties can come forward publicly. One party led by Samdech Heng Samrin, President, and Samdech Chea Sim, Vice President. The party led by Pen Sovann, Chairman and Mok Sokun, Vice Chairman. The party led by Bun Mey, Chairman, and Bou Thong, Vice Chairman. The party led by Hun Sen, Chairman, and Hem Samin, Vice Chairman. Thus, there are four parties. Out of the four parties, Hun Sen is the party with the armed forces. This is a historical fact […]

However, Uncle Mak Hoen’s analysis has been good – it was correct and straightforward. He said that on January 22 (1979), he also came to Phnom Penh because he also spent life under the Pol Pot’s time. He came to Phnom Penh and later to the United States. So please come visit the country. I will pay for your plane ticket. I am asking you to come see Phnom Penh today, how different it is from Phnom Penh when you left. Mr. Chetra too. Mr. Soben just came to Kampong Speu a few days ago. Maybe he has not even returned. They are analysts (looking at Cambodia from) outside. Mr. Krishna, I also listened his analysis. Now, if you want to come, I will help pay your plane tickets to visit Cambodia to find out what the country is like.

Win-win Policy Ends War from 1970, Political Struggle a Democratic Process

Those analysts in the United States who speak on live shows are better than the ones in Phnom Penh, who do not know even the win-win policy. They considered there were nothing come out of the win-win (policy). I have already stated that my win-win policy means that I ended the war that began in 1970, to prevent armed fighting from happening again. As for political struggles, they are a normal process in a democracy. Why can they not understand? Due to their ill intentions, one cannot accept the logic of this thought. I thank UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia). I am a signatory to the Paris Agreement, and at least two of the signatories are present here – me, Samdech Pichey Sena Tia Banh. We could be considered founding members of the Paris Agreement because if the Phnom Penh side does not agree, who will sign with whom? From Phnom Penh at that time, Hun Sen played a final role in the negotiations. There have been some giving interviews to foreign radio saying they do not know what win-win policy aimed for. They even claimed that the trial of the Khmer Rouge was in violation of the Paris Agreement. That is another legal and moral aspect.

More Human Resources Training Efforts

… I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to His Excellency Sun Chanthol for initiating the construction of this building and thank you for setting up an institute to train human resources … Today, all institutions are in human resource disequilibrium in that regard. In the Royal Government and at the sub-national level, the point of concern has been limited human resources. This is the point to look for solution. Therefore, we must not ignore human resource training need. (We must) establish ongoing training. We have here a school that can accommodate 300 people for training, so our road and bridge engineers come to study here. Together with the Institute of Technology, we will develop more engineers. On this point, I still encourage harder work […]

China, Japan Provide Road Machinery Supports

In addition, today also presented the support of Shanghai Company on two concrete production machines with a production capacity of 120 tons/hour and 16 asphalt paving machines to facilitate the construction of roads – all of which are worth more than 2,230,000 USD. The Japanese government, through the Socio-Economic Development Program of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), provided 18 roadside recycling machines worth 4.5 million USD. So the more our machines we have, the more our ability to solve problems on road construction, road repair. Please note that finding it is difficult, trying to make it happen is difficult, and ensuring its sustainability is another challenge.

MPWT has moved to a place not far from LMUPC Ministry … Now they come together here where there is the Phnom Penh police commissioner (also) … how deep was this before (the land levelling). Levelling up three to four meters … this place does not need a waterway. It has turned from a muddy, unusable land into a valuable land. Now, what is the price of this land? (One square meter) US$ 1,000. In 1979, no one would accept it if given free (of charge) […]

Vaccinated Free and Voluntarily

Now I should talk a little bit about the vaccine issue. It is one of my statements in this moment. These days, there have been comments about the vaccine issue and I would like to take this opportunity to inform our compatriots. Earlier I said that we only accept vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization. On the other hand, some countries use vaccines in their own countries and sell vaccines abroad. In such a situation, we cannot wait any longer. We need to make contacts to find vaccines to vaccinate our people for free and on a voluntary basis.

For a first step, I allowed Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh to write a letter to the Chinese Minister of Defence. The Chinese side also responded it provides one million doses for Cambodia. Yesterday, I handed over a letter to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, where I also met with the Chinese ambassador yesterday to discuss ways to obtain vaccines from China through either provision of additional grants or use Chinese aid money to purchase the Chinese vaccines. We may borrow from China and use it to buy back the Chinese vaccines or use our money to buy Chinese vaccines not only Sinopharm, but also both Sinopharm and Sinovac.

I also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of India to consider the possibility of supplying vaccines to Cambodia while India is using its vaccines to inject its citizens. I am also thinking about whether to write a letter to the South Korean president requesting the Korean vaccine because they have already produced it. COVAX also placed orders in South Korea. We also surveyed the use of a British vaccine called AstraZeneca UK, which can survive at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, using a loan from the Asian Development Bank, which provided us with some funding. We have a number of options in terms of vaccines for the Cambodian people. There is a Chinese vaccine and we will get it through COVAX, which will be available to us in March. Probably just about there. COVAX can buy vaccines from China/Korea/UK/US and COVAX will give us enough for 20% of the population. For the emergency stage, they will provide only 3%. If COVAX gives 20%, it is equivalent to 3.2 million doses among 16 million people.

Receive Sinopharm Vaccine at Airport on Arrival in February

Yesterday, I called the Chinese ambassador for a discussion and asked my Chinese friend to give me how much China can afford to give to Cambodia. We know that with the money from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), about $ 95 million, we will be able to have some British vaccine that can stay within the temperature range of China vaccines from 2-8 degrees Celsius. Thailand seemed to be using China’s Sinovac and ordered 1.2 million doses. They seemed to have ordered another nine million doses. For Indonesia, the President had the first China’s Sinovac before anyone else. Sinopharm is set to make its debut (in Cambodia) this February.

I would like to announce that when the vaccine arrives at Pochentong Airport, I make my presence at the airport to receive the vaccine myself. We consider this vaccine to be a strategic commodity and for the safety of the Cambodian people. Of course, there have been interviews and I hear of them. I thank both those who want to receive and those who do not want to receive it. My language has been “the jabs for free and on voluntary basis” so it will be up to the people whether they may or may not want the injection. I hope HE Mam Bunheng can start the census from now on who need the injection and do not so that we can quantify the number needed among our population.

Vaccination Could Become Criteria to Enter a Country

I believe (that) it will arrive there. I have this experience in Africa. Before traveling to Africa, one has to have a vaccination against yellow fever. Without it you cannot enter Africa. I was the one who had to get the vaccination against yellow fever before entering Africa. Soon there will be countries making it a condition that if you do not have a vaccination certificate (against Covid-19), you cannot enter their country. It is not us who are forcing it, but those countries are. Maybe in the future, if we inject them to a great number of people, we may also require those who come to our country to have the jabs before allowing them to enter. This is a voluntary principle, but each country may have a need to ensure their safety.

If we vaccinate the majority of population, the flow of investment to our country will be better. On the other hand, if we do not vaccinate our people, people will see Cambodia as a risky area where they do not come to invest. The vaccine not only protects people from the COVID-19 pandemic, but also is part of attracting foreign investment to Cambodia, as they do not consider Cambodia a place for COVID-19 infection. Please understand this issue. That is why I have to deal with this problem with the Vaccine Commission. I am not doing it on my own.

An Additional One Million Doses of COVAX Vaccine

In the future, based on what we have done with COVAX, COVAX will give us three million (doses) equal to 20% of the population. We have ordered another one million doses from COVAX. For the one million doses may consist of some US/some British/some Chinese/some South Korean, because it is a gift. Previously they demanded us to share 5% contribution (to the cost). Now, they do not ask for it. There is no contribution budget anymore. Well, we will get 3.2 million doses, but ask when will we receive it? It is in this concern that we have to buy one million doses of vaccines through COVAX. COVAX has to work hard to get us one million doses of the vaccines. The one million doses can be those from US/UK/China/Russia/India altogether – countries that have already produced vaccines, which the World Health Organization through the COVAX mechanism, can buy and give us. We will receive through this commission.

The gateways we find for vaccines are three – the first is COVAX, owned by the World Health Organization and has more than 90 member countries, including China and India, for instance. For option 2, we hold bilateral talks with our partners, country to country, such as with China, with India, and possibly with South Korea, which I am considering of asking if they can consider giving us some assistance. For the third option, we will negotiate directly with companies such as the British Vaccine Company. As far as I know, the British Ambassador came to meet Lok Chumteav York Sambath, Secretary of State for health. That means the British company wants to sell. We have many options to go about.

Well, what would those who are against the Chinese vaccine say when they see that Cambodia uses the British vaccine. Cambodia would use not only Chinese vaccines. We are also proposing to India because India is also injecting hundreds of millions. There are two companies in China. Sinopharm is a state-owned company and Sinovac is a private company. In Indonesia, they already inoculated among people and there is a possibility of investing in vaccine production there by a Chinese company. Some seemed to have said that together they would not be the test of the Chinese vaccine. I am just giving you information that this is a self-defence vaccine.

Get the First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine at Calmette Hospital

I would like to confirm that once the vaccine has arrived I will come to receive if officially. My previous habit was to welcome visiting Prime Minister with honouring troops at the airport. Later we cut that out. We bring the guests to honour them the Peace Palace. I would escort only HM the King and the Queen Mother to the airport once they leave the country and received them when they return. Now I will go to the airport to receive the vaccine. After that I will get the first dose injection. That day, I hope that Samdech Pichey Sena Tia Banh, His Excellency Chea Sophara, Excellencies, Lok Chumteav all go and have the jabs with me at Calmette Hospital. I will give a press conference then. My self-worth is what I have to do to make the Cambodian people see clearly. We are getting ready and the person who inject me will be the doctor who took care of my health, now the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health. After that, we proceed to injecting others. After the injection, I will hold a press conference at Calmette Hospital to send a message.

500,000 People Vaccinated before Khmer New Year

I wanted that Cambodia received vaccines for 500,000 people before the Khmer New Year. Soon, 300,000 doses will arrive for 150,000 people. The Chinese friend is working to get us 600,000 doses. If we get 600,000 doses in February, we will inject 300,000 people and another 400,000 doses for 200,000 people. Therefore, before the Khmer New Year, if we can, 500,000 people will be vaccinated. Our front-line service providers will receive the protection as I constantly reminded. Even the street sweepers is a priority in getting the vaccine because s/he is at risk while performing duties. Motorbike taxi drivers, tricycle drivers, taxi drivers as many people walk around her/him every day. They are the recipients (of vaccination priorities). Our vaccination policy is like that. We do not think it raw […]

Cash and Clean Water Provisions Continue for Border Provinces Where Workers from Thailand Are in Quarantines

At this stage, we also have to be careful. As the (events on) 3 November closed, (the event of) 28 November came. As we closed the (event on) November 28, we have this leak from (Thailand). The Thai ambassador is here with us today I hope that our Thai friend can help prevent it. Luckily today, those from Thailand are not infected (COVID-19). Yesterday, five people were infected. Today, no migrants from Thailand found infected, but in Phnom Penh, there are two passengers from the United States, a couple and a Nigerian. Last night, maybe you were in the group with me on the border issue. I sent out a message at about 4am because I got the statistics of those in quarantines and the financial requirements for so and so provinces.

Today, we must release 300 million riels to Banteay Meanchey province, another 200 million riels to Oddar Meanchey province, plus 2,000 cases of bottled drinking water to Oddar Meanchey as they have only 40 cases left. I have issued the order in the morning. Yesterday I also gave orders since morning. Last night, I had to give an order to release the money … I always play the role of General Commander of Logistics. Even in the battlefield, I also have to check from food to ammunitions. Now to COVID-19, I also have look into it directly […]

Misjudging Hun Sen, One Cannot Defeat Him

Some people have written things (about all this). I rebuke David Huot, who used to write for Cambodia Daily, and his articles always attack me, and my children. He was wrong. In this article written on the Diplomat or Asia Times, someone came out saying “Cambodia will get the vaccine by the end of 2022.” He knows too little about Hun Sen. He should learn to know more about Hun Sen. He could not catch up with Hun Sen. Because they cannot catch up with Hun Sen that they cannot defeat Hun Sen […]

… January is my lucky month. Marriage was also in January, the 45th anniversary of the beginning of the government, the 42nd anniversary of the liberation on January 7, the first grandson was in January and the last was in January. There are many things and memories in January. Being the Prime Minister for 36 years just came by a few days ago, also on January 14. When Chan Si went to Moscow for treatment, from October 1984 until January 14, I was the Acting Prime Minister.

2020 Economic Growth Negative; Boosting Economic and Social Benefits

I have talked about this much. However, the talk aims to motivate people to move forward. The 2020 economy, though negative, is not too bad. We had had economic downturn by the global financial crisis of 2008 and beyond. Let me remind you a little bit. We used to get our economy in 2005 to 13.3 percent growth. In 2006, it was 12 percent. In 2007, it was more than 11 percent, but by the economic crisis at the beginning of 2008, we dropped to 6.8 percent and by 2009, it was only 0.5 percent. In 2010, we grew by more than 6 percent. From 2011 to 2019, there are more than 7%. We are now projecting to grow by almost 4%. Let us stimulate for economic growth with all efforts, as we have nearly three million people on continued subsidies. Workers who lose their jobs also need help. Social policies, social assistance continue as normal.

Wear a Mask, Wash Hands and Keep a Safe Distance

Our process is to revive the economy with the prevention of re-emergence (of COVID-19 pandemic) in the community through which we exercise today (the meeting to inaugurate new achievements). Today, I consider this gathering a drill of a new normal way of life and work in the COVID-19 phase. We cannot go back to the past, and if ever we could go back to the past, we do not know when. Therefore, safety distance are still necessary. Three types of protection – wear a mask, wash hands, and exercise safety distancing … for a space of this size where we used to house 7,000 to 8,000 people, now we only have about 1,000. That is how we should do it. Do not go to crowded places. Even if there are crowded people, do not touch each other and keep a distance from each other. Do not be in an enclosed space and use only air conditioning and do not hug each other […]

Wives Should Interfere in No Works of Husbands

There is one thing I should remind our leaders of, and this is a generational experience. Ministers, provincial governors, district governors, whatever level, it is better not to let wives come into offices. I have seen many promoted to this or that position and the wives came to organize their offices to set up the Feng Shui … Doing those things at home is okay, do as you please, but in the office do not. Not good for the eyes of staff and subordinates. My success also has a part of my wife’s contribution. In more than 42 years of working life, from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Prime Minister to the Prime Minister, my wife has never looked at any documents. Even at home, on the table, she never even looked. Unless the documents fall to the floor, she picks them up and puts them on the table … she does not look at her husband’s documents at all […]

MPWT Works Better with Reforms

The workplace is good, but more importantly, I would like to remind you of efficiency. If it is not effective, it means that even if the building is 10 times better, it is still the same. The better the workplace, the more efficient and modern it is. I believe in MPWT regarding reform issues in the field related to public administration. The road works and even the cars’ numbering process, we have had many reforms. We should continue to do this good job. Encourage our civil servants to do their parts […]./.


“Cambodia, Canada established bilateral consultations to forge closer cooperatio...

His Excellency CHUM Sounry, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, had a fruitful discussion with His Excellency ALAN Bowman,